Family holidays in the Netherlands beaches
The Netherlands beaches are among the best in Europe. Every year, millions of local and foreign tourists such as Germans and Belgians, are flocking to the Netherlands beaches. The long coastlines that expand to hundreds of kilometers may not be how you picture the Netherlands. But this country is blessed with pristine white sands and beautiful sand dunes that face the North Sea. In fact, these beautiful beaches stretch uninterruptedly along the whole west coast of the Netherlands. For example, if you are up for a ten hours walk, you can travel the beach from the most northern point of Ijmuiden in North Holland to the beach of Scheveningen in The Hague. The Netherlands beaches are enjoyed by swimmers, surfers, family travelers, or people who would like to escape the busyness of the city life.
The North Sea has play an important role in the Dutch history and of the present period. Many of the villages within the beaches are deeply inculcated in the Dutch history, battling many times the forces of the sea and claiming parts of the land. Many houses and fishers have given their life to the sea. Many Dutch traders in the past were able to navigate the world and to discover different places of earth by traversing the North Sea. These include for example discovering New York (previously known as New Amsterdam), Dutch Carribean islands located in Latin America such as Cuaracao, Bonaire, Aruba, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, and Saba, and Indonesia. In the past and in current times, the sea is a source of many Dutch products such as mussels, fish, and other seafoods.
What Netherlands beaches to visit?
There are numerous beaches to visit in the Netherlands. You can go from North to South Holland, to the famous Dutch Wadden Islands, and to the pristine beaches of Zeeland. Every year, my family and I always visit any of these Dutch beaches. Why? It is very good for the development of the children! They like playing in the sand, enjoy playing with the water, and eating ice creams in the beach. The funny thing is that parents can do relaxing activities such as reading books, playing volleyball, or simply laying down under the sun while just letting kids to enjoy the beaches. If you are planning to spend your holidays especially during summer in the Netherlands, here are the lists of the Dutch beaches.
1. Egmond aan Zee
Egmond aan Zee is a beach located in the North Holland region. It was once a fishing village that faced battles between the land and the sea. Many houses in this municipality were swallowed by the sea in storms such as during the big erosions in 1st November 1570 and 1741. Nowadays, Egmond aan zee is located close to the city center where many restaurants, pubs, and hotels are facing the sea. If you spend a day trip at Egmond aan Zee, might as well visit other places in the North and South Holland regions. For more information, check my blog Holland: Experience Dutch culture and history.
2. Zandvoort aan Zee
Zandvoort aan Zee is also located in the North Holland, but at lower position than Egmond aan Zee. This beach is very close to Amsterdam around 20 minutes by car or less than an hour by public transport. Zaandvoort aan Zee is considered as one of the main beaches to visit in the Netherlands due to its long, straight coast line. In fact, you can reach Bloemendaal aan Zee just by simply walking the North coast of Zandvoort. At the South of Zandvoort, which extends up to 3 kilometers you can find the Zandvoort Nude beach, where nudists (naked people) enjoy the beach. People enjoy the natural environment just like in the time of Adam and Eve, while only the birds, sea, and trees can find you naked. Tip, you are not allowed to bring telephone or cameras when in Zandvoort Nude beach.
3. Bloemendaal aan Zee
Bloemendaal aan Zee lies between the Ijmuiden beach in the North and Zandvoort aan Zee in the South. Similar to Zandvoort beaches, it has pristine white sands and is a popular hotspot both for locals and tourists. Bloemendaal aan Zee it is surrounded by nature areas. After spending few hours in the beaches, it is good to bike or walk and to explore the nature reserve of the region.
4. Scheveningen beach
Scheveningen is by far the most popular beaches in the Netherlands. This beach is located in The Hague, where the seat of the Dutch government is located. Scheveningen beach is 4.5 kilometers long and 110 meters wide, thus it is able to accommodate visitors from all over the world throughout the year. The beach is accessible by public transport from The Hague central station, by cars and by bikes. There are activities each season of the year, many restaurants, and hotels in the beach.
5. Dutch Wadden islands
The Dutch Wadden islands consist of five islands that lie between the North of the Netherlands and Denmark. These islands include Texel, Ameland, Vlieland, Schiermonnikog, and Treschelling. Each island has beautiful beaches and offers unique experiences to visitors. The islands are separated from the mainland Netherlands and therefore can only be accessible by riding a boat or a ferry that travels every day from North Holland, Friesland and Groningen region. Spending romantic few nights in a hotel, renting a house for family, camping with family or friends in the sand dunes, and discovering the beautiful species in these island are some beautiful experiences to do when in the Dutch Wadden islands.
5. Zeeland beaches
Zeeland is the southernmost region in the West of the Netherlands. This region is not only blessed with nature areas but also with outstanding beaches that are considered the cleanest, most exceptional, and coziest for the family! With a coastline stretching more than 650 kilometers, there are more than ten beach to choose from in Zeeland region. These include for example beaches in (1) Berkenbosch, Oostkapelle – (Walcheren), (2) ‘t Zwin, Cadzand-Bad – (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen), (3) Banjaardstrand ,Kamperland – (Noord-Beveland), (4) Breezand, Vrouwenpolder – (Walcheren), (5) Westenschouwen – (Schouwen-Duiveland), (6) De Hoge Hilt, Zoutelande – (Walcheren), (7) Westerduinpad, Ouddorp – (Goeree-Overflakkee), (8) Nollestrand, Vlissingen – (Walcheren), (9) Badstrand, Domburg – (Walcheren), (10) Vuurtorenpad, Nieuw-Haamstede – (Schouwen-Duiveland), and (11) Dishoek (Walcheren). For review of this beaches, see VVV.zeeland.nl. The beaches are normally close to cute and historical towns thus it is best to combine your visit to the beaches with discovering the history of its town or city.
What to consider before going to the Netherlands beaches?
Going to Netherlands beaches offer beautiful experiences. But you need to take a few things into consideration before going to the Netherlands beaches. Here are my three important tips:
1. Book in advance or stay in the next town (around 30 minutes drive) close to the beach. Staying in hotels and renting houses in front of the Netherlands beaches is ridiculously expensive! You will end up paying around 100 euros (if you are lucky) up to 200 euros per night for a two-persons room. Often, the hotel rooms are fully booked if you do not book in advance. That’s why some people are booking their holidays one year ahead of the vacation! An alternative is to stay on a close by town for cheaper accommodation rate than beach hotels.
2. Don’t forget to bring beach tent. The summer heat in the Netherlands is very warm, therefore it is advisable to bring beach tent. There are a few affordable (some less than 10 euros) beach tents. It is handy to have a beach tent to shelter from both cold wind or too much sunshine. Additionally a tent can keep your beach stuff somewhat clean of sand. Renting a tent in front of the beach is also possible but can cost you for a day as much as buying a tent for yourself.
3. Go to the beach early. It is a simple advice but very useful! If you choose to go to the beach around 10:30-11:00 in the morning during a sunny, weekend, you might end up with a parking lot full of cars and less space in the beach. There are even cases that the roads are blocked due to many people flocking to the beach in the afternoon. Therefore, if you can come at 9:00 AM, do so and enjoy selecting your space at your convenience.